Although he’s not alone in his opinion—and he’s certainly earned the credibility for making such announcements as the most famous analyst on ESPN’s broadcast of NCAA basketball through his 42 seasons—Dick Vitale qualifies. He is forced to say that he “feels very strongly” about his opinion of Mike Krzyzewski’s career, even if others don’t agree with it.
“I think he is the greatest coach of all time in college basketball,” Vitale told The Sporting News. “Obviously I have a lot of respect for John Wooden . . . but it’s been a completely different era.”
Krzyzewski would never match the 10 NCAA championships Wooden won during his career at UCLA. We can say that of course now with the report of “Coach K” Will serve as coach of Duke for only one more season before entering retirement. The best he can do at the moment is six — his all-time 1,170 victories, 97 NCAA Tournament wins, 35 NCAA appearances and a record-tying 12 Final Fours to go with.
Mike Krzyzewski: by numbers
For Duke assistant coach John Scherer, who has reportedly already been handed the reigns to succeed Krzyzewski, following the act is like trying to put the final brush stroke on an unfinished van Gogh. It’s just paint, isn’t it? Everything seems to be already there.
So, what could go wrong? very. In fact, a lot can go right but it can also go so wrong. Such is the risk of taking the place of a legend in any sport.
Particularly at Duke, however, the issue of how enduring the program can be seems particularly acute because Krzyzewski has been around for so long and so much has been written about the program’s historical success. Which summons the question: is Duke a Blueblood or Koch’s?
“He’s not a good coach. He’s not a good basketball coach. There are a lot of good basketball coaches out there. Mike Krzyzewski is a great coach. He’s in that realm,” retired sports columnist Frank Duscanzo of the Durham Herald-Sun told SN told.
“Replacing her is going to be close to impossible. In all my years covering the ACC, there has never been a better coach in any sport than this. He always said of his three daughters: ‘I don’t want what for them It’s good; I want what’s best for them.’ And they brought it to the program.
When Krzyzewski was hired to become Duke’s new head coach in 1980, the program had appeared in four Final Force appearances—three by Vic Bubas, one by Bill Foster—and eight NCAA tournaments in its history. The Blue Devils placed first in the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season standings seven times in 30 years and had a .639 winning percentage in ACC games.
Krzyzewski won the ACC regular season 12 times, the ACC tournament 15 times and had a .704 winning percentage in conference games. They may not have built the Cameroon Indoor Stadium, but they did turn it into a sporting cathedral.
The surprising Duke network of former players was branded “The Brotherhood” by the program, and included NBA All-Stars (Jason Tatum, Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson), NBA head coach (Quinn Snyder), NBA general manager (Elton Brand). ) Are included. , Trajan Langdon), college head coaches (including Arizona State’s Bobby Hurley, Northwestern’s Chris Collins, Pitt’s Jeff Cappel and Austin Pay’s Nate James) and an army of broadcast analysts (Jay Bilas, Jay Williams and Grant Hill among them). ).
That alumni network will be one of the most important resources for the skier — who is also a member who has been an All-American point guard on the program’s 2010 championship team — as he faces the challenges of becoming Duke’s head coach in the spring of 2022. does.
“If the Brotherhood doesn’t survive for someone who lives in the Brotherhood from Coach Kay, it’s not really a brotherhood,” ESPN analyst Frank Frasilla told SN. “It is up to the next coach for sure as it is a reflection of what the coach has established over 40 years.
“You can count on all the successful alumni-athletes that Mike coached, and it’s incumbent on them to be stronger than ever.”
Who is Jon Scherer? What to know about Krzyzewski’s replacement at Duke
It is not easy to maintain their position even for programs with an illustrious history of continuous success through multiple coaching icons. Indiana won two titles under Branch McCracken and topped three with Bob Knight, but is now on its fifth head coach in the 21 years since Knight’s sacking.
Mick Cronin, who guided UCLA to the 2021 Final Four, is the 10th Bruins head coach since Wooden’s retirement in 1975. Most of them were fired despite NCAA Tournament Sweet 16s (Steve Alford), Elite Eight (Steve Lavin), Final Force (Ben Howland) and even an NCAA Championship (Jim Harrick).
After two finals in three seasons under Bill Guthridge, North Carolina went through it when Matt Doherty was named as head coach in 2000, but scant recruitment interrupted him. The Tar Heels compiled an 8–20 season in 2001–02, and Doherty never recovered. To bring Carolina basketball back to the level where Dean Smith held it regularly between 1961 and 1997, an established legend, Roy Williams, had to be hired.
Williams is now retired, was replaced by head coach Hubert Davies for the first time. This means, in the 2022-23 season, Carolina and Duke head coaches will have one year of head coaching experience on their resumes.
“He has a lot of passion for schools, there is support for people going down, so he’s positive,” Vitale told SN. “One thing they’re doing for them is that the schools are North Carolina and Duke, and they’re going to attract excellent players.
“They’re going to be very thick-skinned because they’re going to be criticized left and right. Converting the guys who were putting up 30-win seasons who were national contenders every year is going to be extremely difficult.
“But being an insider, putting people on edge who are so loved and respected – these schools love these guys. They’re beloved players. I don’t remember ever hearing a bad word about these guys.” . Now they obviously have to produce. They know this.”
Which is like not knowing what it would be like. Only a few have traced the extent to which the Shire is about to travel, and the stories told upon his return are alarming.
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